Goals vs. Streaks

There’s a popular story about some advice Seinfeld once gave to a young comedian who asked him tips on how to become a better comedian.

According to Seinfeld, the way to become a better comic is to write a lot of jokes. And the way to do that is to write every day. So Seinfeld told him to buy a calendar.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

Great advice.

Most people around the New Year like to make resolutions, which are another way of writing down goals. But in my experience goals rarely translate into change. Change comes from consistent action in the same direction: habits.

A few days ago I compared habits to holes. Digging a hole isn’t about planning or writing down a schematic for how to dig a hole. It isn’t about goal setting. It’s about digging consistently in the same direction. And the best way to take action in the same direction is to create a streak.

Streaks are better than resolutions or goals, because they turn into habits, which unlike goals actually have the power to transform our lives.

Streaks are better than goals for a host of reasons. To give one example, streaks are entirely within our control, whereas achieving a goal is often not within our control. You can’t predict the future and you can’t control the world around you. If you set a goal of running a 2:45 marathon and you do months of preparation to commit to the task, you still might not get there. It might be windy that day. Or maybe you get injured in training. Or maybe you’re just not physically able to run a 2:45 marathon (that is pretty damned fast). Goals are a combination of a plan for personal resolution and wishful thinking. Get the wishful thinking wrong and you’re liable to question your personal resolve, often unfairly.

Which brings me to my second point: Goals imply that we’re not yet good enough. I’ll only be worthy of self-respect when I run a 2:45 marathon or make $10 million dollars or own a vacation home in Costa Rica. That’s bullshit. A vacation home in Costa Rica doesn’t make you a good person. Being kind and considerate to people around you makes you a good person. Have you ever heard someone say, “he’s a really great person, he owns a second home in Costa Rica”? No. You can be a terrible person and have a second home in Costa Rica and you can be a terrible person and run a 2:45 marathon. In fact, many people are – exactly because they give arbitrary or materialistic goals priority to how they treat people.

Further, and perhaps most critically, achieving a goal may only be incidental to being the person you want to be. Achievement is overrated. Goals give us arbitrary targets for where we’d like our lives to go. Whereas streaks are a daily manifestation of our values put into action. If you consciously think about what’s most important to you and do it every day, it shouldn’t matter whether it’s windy or whether everything happens according to your plan. You can’t control whether your son or daughter gets in to Princeton, but you can commit to eating dinner with your family every day without interruption or distraction. The former is out of your control and may be incidental to your qualities as a parent; the latter is entirely within your control and a reflection of your commitment and attention to them.

A few warnings about streaks: I think it’s important to take them seriously but not too seriously. I like to think of them like those Tibetan sand mandalas. It takes work, concentration, and discipline to create one. It feels good to make something go for a while. But streaks like all things must come to an end. When the time comes it’s ok to let it go and start over again. Maybe you write every day but then you go on vacation. Maybe you eat dinner with your family every day but you have the occasional business trip.

Also, streaks can turn into a negative force if you resolve to have too many of them. If you have 15 streaks, you’ll end up chasing streaks your whole life. Don’t let habit-obsessiveness gets in the way of appreciating life’s quiet moments.

Finally, for me, streaks aren’t about absolutism; they’re about creating patterns for healthy habits, however that makes sense for you. For example, I have a long streak of having no more than one alcoholic drink in a day. The streak isn’t about having no alcohol – it’s about not consuming to excess. It might be reasonable to pick a diet plan with a cheat day. A streak can be to do something four times a week, if that’s what’s best for you. Cultivate momentum and healthy habits, not obsessiveness.

Ultimately, streaks are about creating momentum for habits – unbullshitable, real habits where the values we claim to have shine forth in the actions we take every day. That’s far more important to me than any arbitrary milestone for achievement ever could be.

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  • The Hardest Questions
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  • Right Here Problems
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    Let me know if this sounds familiar:

    In my younger days, I liked to make plans about habits that I wanted to break. The instinct to do this was particularly strong around new years. And sometimes in the moment of planning to break the habit, I would be doing the thing I wanted to stop. So I might sit down at my laptop creating a plan to moderate my drinking in between sips of a microbrew or a glass of red wine.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, every one of those plans fell through.

    Breaking a habit is like digging a hole. Planning isn’t all that helpful. The only way to dig a hole is to get busy digging.

    And planning to break a habit while reinforcing the habit you’re trying to break is like shoveling a huge pile of dirt on the very spot you’re looking to dig. You’re going in the wrong direction.

    And yet this is basically what we do when we make new years’ resolutions. We indulge in some habits while planning to develop the opposite habit. We build a hill on the spot we plan to dig a hole.

    You can dig a massive hole if you remove one bucket full of dirt from the some place every day 1,000 days in a row. But if you shovel five buckets one day and put 8 buckets back every other day, then you’ll end up with a hill instead of a hole, even though you’re doing a lot more work than the first person. And if you dig for five days in a row and then abandon your hole for a month, nature will undo most of the work you’ve done.

    If you want to change a habit, you don’t need a new plan or a new year. You just need incremental and consistent movement in the same direction.

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  • A Three-Step Process for Deciding Which News Stories To Give a Shit About
  • Toward Greater Parsimony of Narratives
  • Contra Bershidsky on Catalan Independence
  • In Defense of Holding Fewer Strong Opinions
  • Refusing to Let Others Dictate Your Agenda
  • Three Universal Laws on Suffering and Information Consumption
  • Anti-ism-ism
  • Rapoport’s Rebuttals – A Model for Better Online Civil Discourse
  • Why the President of the United States Is NOT the Most Powerful Man on Earth
  • In Defense of Broader Free Speech Norms
  • Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek as Enlightened Anarcho-Primitivism
  • Accept the World Exactly as It Is, and then Go Try to Make It Better
  • What’s the Matter with Saguache County, Colorado?
  • Discipline And Flexibility, Not Discipline Or Flexibility
  • This is Why Extreme Policies Become Normal
  • You Were Not Designed To Be Happy
  • Why Strategic Copying > Innovation
  • The Challenge of Consilience
  • The Random Life Experience Generator
  • The Society for Uncertainty and Intellectual Modesty
  • The Optimal Amount of Work for Any Person, Explained
  • In Defense of Human Experience over Digital Information
  • Be Wary of Collective Explanations, Too
  • Why It’s Best To Think of Explanations As Partial Fictions
  • Status Games
  • One Sentence to Explain Politics in 2017
  • Why Loose Enforcement of Laws Gives Law Enforcement More Power
  • Brain in a Social-Media Vat
  • The Joy of Irrelevance and Anonymity
  • The Rationality of Seemingly Irrational Political Beliefs
  • Goals vs. Streaks
  • The Hardest Questions
  • Me and My Pony
  • Habits and Holes
  • Right Here Problems
  • Life at Zero Speed
  • Ambivalence to Achievement
  • Metarules for Games
  • Today, I Will Make Myself a Cup of Tea
  • Refuse To Even Say His Name
  • Do Great Things . . . Or Do Nothing
  • Ozymandias and Our Quests for Immortality
  • What We Really Mean When We Talk About Minimalism
  • What 40-Degree Water Taught Me About Philosophy
  • You Are the Star of Your Own Movie (But Nobody Else’s)
  • What I Learned from My Mini-Retirement at Age 34 (Mostly, that Retirement is Overrated)
  • The Strategic Value of Not Planning
  • Republicanism, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Instability
  • The Hyperevolution of Hyperstimulus
  • Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want
  • Monday Funday – Radiohead
  • Friday Shortcuts – Robots Reading Romance Novels
  • Why Are There So Few High-Status Threshold Workers?
  • What I’m Reading – 5/4 – Team of Rivals
  • Epistemic Status
  • Monday Funday – Running Through Barcelona
  • Friday Shortcuts – 1:11 Half-Marathon with a Stroller
  • Light Reading for Our Robot Overlords
  • What I’m Reading – 4/27 – The Graveyard Book; The Longest Winter
  • Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed
  • Monday Funday – Killer Drone
  • Shortcuts 4/22/16
  • The Easiest Path To Professional Success
  • What I’m Reading – 4/20 – What I Think About When I Think About Running
  • Why It’s Good To Be a Square Peg
  • Monday Funday – Super Mario Bros. Speed Record
  • Friday Shortcuts 4/14 – I Think This Is a Joke
  • The Real Reason We Like To Travel
  • What I’m Reading – 4/13 – Seveneves; Asylum; SuperBetter
  • How To (And How Not To) Defeat a Demagogue
  • Monday Funday, 4/11/2016
  • Friday Shortcuts and The Process
  • How to Learn To Love Any New Habit
  • What I’m Reading – 4/6 – The Iraq War; Impro; Zen in the Art of Writing; The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • 100/100/100
  • The Best Thing I Read Last Week
  • Friday Shortcuts
  • Analyzing Life from an Archeologist’s Perspective
  • Quantity vs. Quality
  • What’s the Evolutionary Basis for Why We Like TV?
  • Tip of the AI Iceberg
  • The Theory of 5,000 Einsteins
  • All of Our Instincts Are Fighting Against Us
  • McCarthy’s Maxim in Visual Form
  • Why Irrationality May Be Our Best Form of Job Security
  • How to Defeat a Demagogue – A Strategic Inquiry
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Rules for Thinking, Daniel Dennett; Does it Matter? Alan Watts
  • Benchley’s Law of Distinction, Forager-Farmer Edition
  • The DO Rule
  • Proof of Evolution You Can See
  • Is Ultrarunning on the Decline?
  • Let My People Go (and Drink Responsibly)!
  • The Least Interesting Years of My Life
  • The Mismeasure of Man; A Universe of Consciousness
  • On Donald Trump, Superforecasting, and Granularity
  • Stalingrad, The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
  • The Smart People Need to get Smarter
  • Go, AlphaGo, and the Game of Games
  • The Amateur Astronomer
  • Why Working at the Same Time as Everyone Else Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
  • The Red Queen and the New Political Order
  • Programming vs. Strategy
  • The End of the End of History?
  • Evolution: The Ultimate Game
  • On Weirdness
  • This is the New Political Order
  • Why It’s Ok to Dance Alone on a Hill in Tight Pants
  • How to Lead, How to Follow
  • Snapchat: The New Game
  • Games and Problems (How to Solve Any Problem)
  • The Battle for Non-Distraction
  • Zen Koans, Virality, and Self Promotion
  • Steve Jobs; Creativity: Flow and the Psychology and Discovery of Invention; Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
  • The Opposites Theory of Presidents (A Story of Recency Bias)
  • Insider Games vs. Outsider Games, Paul Krugman Edition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke, Part II
  • Winners and Losers & the Multicultural Ideal
  • Arguing with People Online is a Waste of Time
  • Is Blogging Now Irrelevant?
  • Creativity, Domains, Consensus, and Recognition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke
  • Disassortative Mating, Heart-Warming Edition
  • Humanity Trumps Ideology
  • The Golden Age of Games
  • Finite and Infinite Games
  • Benjamin Franklin, an American Life; Einstein, His Life and Universe; The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Riches to Rags Story
  • The Observable Universe, Log-Scale Image
  • Randomness, Beauty, and the Oboe
  • The American Civil War; Musicophilia; A Perfect Mess
  • Why the Nobel Prize is Overrated
  • The Sum of our Experiences
  • Underrated: Being a Threshold Earner
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Humane Idealist
  • Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art
  • 1493; The Revenge of Geography; The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Why I’m an Optimist Who Believes the End of the World is Nigh
  • Trey Spruance, Art for Its Own Sake
  • Kind Moments Caught on Russian Dashcams
  • Boy and Puppy
  • Why the Left-Right Distinction in Politics is Overrated
  • The Art of Learning; Collapse; Promoter Mind, Hustler Heart; The Last of the President’s Men
  • Embracing Imperfection
  • Find Your Voice, Do Your Special Work
  • Joyous and Swift
  • What is the Meaning of Life? (On the Importance of Asking Better Questions)
  • Poorly Worded Questions
  • Pascal’s Wager (A Different Calculus)
  • The Final Countdown
  • Ten Keys to a Meaningful Life
  • Wittgenstein’s Ruler (McCarthy’s Maxim)
  • Republicanism, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Instability

    A few thoughts on Brexit:

    • After years of handwringing over whether the Greeks would leave the EU, whether the Spanish would leave the EU, or whether the Portuguese would leave the EU, it turns out Britain is the first to leave the EU. I guess it makes sense that a relatively rich country, rather than a relatively poor one, would be the first to leave. Why? Because they can.
    • This vote says as much about referendums as it does about British sentiment or the EU. Even if 99% of the time, most people want a certain political dynamic, as long as a referendum is called at the 1% of the time when they do not, any stable political system can be undone. The lesson here is that referendums are a terrific destabilizing force.
    • Republican forms of government are much more stable than democratic ones.
    • Are weak federalist systems always doomed to failure?
    • The bureaucratic fallout from this will be pervasive and it will last decades. Thousands of laws just got invalidated and there will be a vacuum where thousands of others used to exist. This is a legal cluster without modern precedent.
  • You Have No Idea How Lucky You Are
  • A Three-Step Process for Deciding Which News Stories To Give a Shit About
  • Toward Greater Parsimony of Narratives
  • Contra Bershidsky on Catalan Independence
  • In Defense of Holding Fewer Strong Opinions
  • Refusing to Let Others Dictate Your Agenda
  • Three Universal Laws on Suffering and Information Consumption
  • Anti-ism-ism
  • Rapoport’s Rebuttals – A Model for Better Online Civil Discourse
  • Why the President of the United States Is NOT the Most Powerful Man on Earth
  • In Defense of Broader Free Speech Norms
  • Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek as Enlightened Anarcho-Primitivism
  • Accept the World Exactly as It Is, and then Go Try to Make It Better
  • What’s the Matter with Saguache County, Colorado?
  • Discipline And Flexibility, Not Discipline Or Flexibility
  • This is Why Extreme Policies Become Normal
  • You Were Not Designed To Be Happy
  • Why Strategic Copying > Innovation
  • The Challenge of Consilience
  • The Random Life Experience Generator
  • The Society for Uncertainty and Intellectual Modesty
  • The Optimal Amount of Work for Any Person, Explained
  • In Defense of Human Experience over Digital Information
  • Be Wary of Collective Explanations, Too
  • Why It’s Best To Think of Explanations As Partial Fictions
  • Status Games
  • One Sentence to Explain Politics in 2017
  • Why Loose Enforcement of Laws Gives Law Enforcement More Power
  • Brain in a Social-Media Vat
  • The Joy of Irrelevance and Anonymity
  • The Rationality of Seemingly Irrational Political Beliefs
  • Goals vs. Streaks
  • The Hardest Questions
  • Me and My Pony
  • Habits and Holes
  • Right Here Problems
  • Life at Zero Speed
  • Ambivalence to Achievement
  • Metarules for Games
  • Today, I Will Make Myself a Cup of Tea
  • Refuse To Even Say His Name
  • Do Great Things . . . Or Do Nothing
  • Ozymandias and Our Quests for Immortality
  • What We Really Mean When We Talk About Minimalism
  • What 40-Degree Water Taught Me About Philosophy
  • You Are the Star of Your Own Movie (But Nobody Else’s)
  • What I Learned from My Mini-Retirement at Age 34 (Mostly, that Retirement is Overrated)
  • The Strategic Value of Not Planning
  • Republicanism, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Instability
  • The Hyperevolution of Hyperstimulus
  • Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want
  • Monday Funday – Radiohead
  • Friday Shortcuts – Robots Reading Romance Novels
  • Why Are There So Few High-Status Threshold Workers?
  • What I’m Reading – 5/4 – Team of Rivals
  • Epistemic Status
  • Monday Funday – Running Through Barcelona
  • Friday Shortcuts – 1:11 Half-Marathon with a Stroller
  • Light Reading for Our Robot Overlords
  • What I’m Reading – 4/27 – The Graveyard Book; The Longest Winter
  • Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed
  • Monday Funday – Killer Drone
  • Shortcuts 4/22/16
  • The Easiest Path To Professional Success
  • What I’m Reading – 4/20 – What I Think About When I Think About Running
  • Why It’s Good To Be a Square Peg
  • Monday Funday – Super Mario Bros. Speed Record
  • Friday Shortcuts 4/14 – I Think This Is a Joke
  • The Real Reason We Like To Travel
  • What I’m Reading – 4/13 – Seveneves; Asylum; SuperBetter
  • How To (And How Not To) Defeat a Demagogue
  • Monday Funday, 4/11/2016
  • Friday Shortcuts and The Process
  • How to Learn To Love Any New Habit
  • What I’m Reading – 4/6 – The Iraq War; Impro; Zen in the Art of Writing; The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • 100/100/100
  • The Best Thing I Read Last Week
  • Friday Shortcuts
  • Analyzing Life from an Archeologist’s Perspective
  • Quantity vs. Quality
  • What’s the Evolutionary Basis for Why We Like TV?
  • Tip of the AI Iceberg
  • The Theory of 5,000 Einsteins
  • All of Our Instincts Are Fighting Against Us
  • McCarthy’s Maxim in Visual Form
  • Why Irrationality May Be Our Best Form of Job Security
  • How to Defeat a Demagogue – A Strategic Inquiry
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Rules for Thinking, Daniel Dennett; Does it Matter? Alan Watts
  • Benchley’s Law of Distinction, Forager-Farmer Edition
  • The DO Rule
  • Proof of Evolution You Can See
  • Is Ultrarunning on the Decline?
  • Let My People Go (and Drink Responsibly)!
  • The Least Interesting Years of My Life
  • The Mismeasure of Man; A Universe of Consciousness
  • On Donald Trump, Superforecasting, and Granularity
  • Stalingrad, The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
  • The Smart People Need to get Smarter
  • Go, AlphaGo, and the Game of Games
  • The Amateur Astronomer
  • Why Working at the Same Time as Everyone Else Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
  • The Red Queen and the New Political Order
  • Programming vs. Strategy
  • The End of the End of History?
  • Evolution: The Ultimate Game
  • On Weirdness
  • This is the New Political Order
  • Why It’s Ok to Dance Alone on a Hill in Tight Pants
  • How to Lead, How to Follow
  • Snapchat: The New Game
  • Games and Problems (How to Solve Any Problem)
  • The Battle for Non-Distraction
  • Zen Koans, Virality, and Self Promotion
  • Steve Jobs; Creativity: Flow and the Psychology and Discovery of Invention; Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
  • The Opposites Theory of Presidents (A Story of Recency Bias)
  • Insider Games vs. Outsider Games, Paul Krugman Edition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke, Part II
  • Winners and Losers & the Multicultural Ideal
  • Arguing with People Online is a Waste of Time
  • Is Blogging Now Irrelevant?
  • Creativity, Domains, Consensus, and Recognition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke
  • Disassortative Mating, Heart-Warming Edition
  • Humanity Trumps Ideology
  • The Golden Age of Games
  • Finite and Infinite Games
  • Benjamin Franklin, an American Life; Einstein, His Life and Universe; The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Riches to Rags Story
  • The Observable Universe, Log-Scale Image
  • Randomness, Beauty, and the Oboe
  • The American Civil War; Musicophilia; A Perfect Mess
  • Why the Nobel Prize is Overrated
  • The Sum of our Experiences
  • Underrated: Being a Threshold Earner
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Humane Idealist
  • Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art
  • 1493; The Revenge of Geography; The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Why I’m an Optimist Who Believes the End of the World is Nigh
  • Trey Spruance, Art for Its Own Sake
  • Kind Moments Caught on Russian Dashcams
  • Boy and Puppy
  • Why the Left-Right Distinction in Politics is Overrated
  • The Art of Learning; Collapse; Promoter Mind, Hustler Heart; The Last of the President’s Men
  • Embracing Imperfection
  • Find Your Voice, Do Your Special Work
  • Joyous and Swift
  • What is the Meaning of Life? (On the Importance of Asking Better Questions)
  • Poorly Worded Questions
  • Pascal’s Wager (A Different Calculus)
  • The Final Countdown
  • Ten Keys to a Meaningful Life
  • Wittgenstein’s Ruler (McCarthy’s Maxim)
  • Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want

    I’ve struggled with this blog to decide what its identity will be.

    I have toyed with a few different sequences in terms of timing of posts, frequency of posts, and the structure of content.

    But, seeing as how I am not doing this for money or for any sort of professional gain, I have decided that there is only one format that makes sense:

    I’m going to post whatever I want, whenever I want to do so.

    Joyous and Swift now has over 100 posts, so it has that base as a starting point. That makes me happy. But I found myself over the last few days struggling to string together posts day after day while busy with other things. I think the quality was starting to suffer because of a desire to post on a certain schedule.

    Screw that. No more struggle. From now on, I post whatever I want, whenever I want to do so.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

  • You Have No Idea How Lucky You Are
  • A Three-Step Process for Deciding Which News Stories To Give a Shit About
  • Toward Greater Parsimony of Narratives
  • Contra Bershidsky on Catalan Independence
  • In Defense of Holding Fewer Strong Opinions
  • Refusing to Let Others Dictate Your Agenda
  • Three Universal Laws on Suffering and Information Consumption
  • Anti-ism-ism
  • Rapoport’s Rebuttals – A Model for Better Online Civil Discourse
  • Why the President of the United States Is NOT the Most Powerful Man on Earth
  • In Defense of Broader Free Speech Norms
  • Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek as Enlightened Anarcho-Primitivism
  • Accept the World Exactly as It Is, and then Go Try to Make It Better
  • What’s the Matter with Saguache County, Colorado?
  • Discipline And Flexibility, Not Discipline Or Flexibility
  • This is Why Extreme Policies Become Normal
  • You Were Not Designed To Be Happy
  • Why Strategic Copying > Innovation
  • The Challenge of Consilience
  • The Random Life Experience Generator
  • The Society for Uncertainty and Intellectual Modesty
  • The Optimal Amount of Work for Any Person, Explained
  • In Defense of Human Experience over Digital Information
  • Be Wary of Collective Explanations, Too
  • Why It’s Best To Think of Explanations As Partial Fictions
  • Status Games
  • One Sentence to Explain Politics in 2017
  • Why Loose Enforcement of Laws Gives Law Enforcement More Power
  • Brain in a Social-Media Vat
  • The Joy of Irrelevance and Anonymity
  • The Rationality of Seemingly Irrational Political Beliefs
  • Goals vs. Streaks
  • The Hardest Questions
  • Me and My Pony
  • Habits and Holes
  • Right Here Problems
  • Life at Zero Speed
  • Ambivalence to Achievement
  • Metarules for Games
  • Today, I Will Make Myself a Cup of Tea
  • Refuse To Even Say His Name
  • Do Great Things . . . Or Do Nothing
  • Ozymandias and Our Quests for Immortality
  • What We Really Mean When We Talk About Minimalism
  • What 40-Degree Water Taught Me About Philosophy
  • You Are the Star of Your Own Movie (But Nobody Else’s)
  • What I Learned from My Mini-Retirement at Age 34 (Mostly, that Retirement is Overrated)
  • The Strategic Value of Not Planning
  • Republicanism, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Instability
  • The Hyperevolution of Hyperstimulus
  • Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want
  • Monday Funday – Radiohead
  • Friday Shortcuts – Robots Reading Romance Novels
  • Why Are There So Few High-Status Threshold Workers?
  • What I’m Reading – 5/4 – Team of Rivals
  • Epistemic Status
  • Monday Funday – Running Through Barcelona
  • Friday Shortcuts – 1:11 Half-Marathon with a Stroller
  • Light Reading for Our Robot Overlords
  • What I’m Reading – 4/27 – The Graveyard Book; The Longest Winter
  • Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed
  • Monday Funday – Killer Drone
  • Shortcuts 4/22/16
  • The Easiest Path To Professional Success
  • What I’m Reading – 4/20 – What I Think About When I Think About Running
  • Why It’s Good To Be a Square Peg
  • Monday Funday – Super Mario Bros. Speed Record
  • Friday Shortcuts 4/14 – I Think This Is a Joke
  • The Real Reason We Like To Travel
  • What I’m Reading – 4/13 – Seveneves; Asylum; SuperBetter
  • How To (And How Not To) Defeat a Demagogue
  • Monday Funday, 4/11/2016
  • Friday Shortcuts and The Process
  • How to Learn To Love Any New Habit
  • What I’m Reading – 4/6 – The Iraq War; Impro; Zen in the Art of Writing; The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • 100/100/100
  • The Best Thing I Read Last Week
  • Friday Shortcuts
  • Analyzing Life from an Archeologist’s Perspective
  • Quantity vs. Quality
  • What’s the Evolutionary Basis for Why We Like TV?
  • Tip of the AI Iceberg
  • The Theory of 5,000 Einsteins
  • All of Our Instincts Are Fighting Against Us
  • McCarthy’s Maxim in Visual Form
  • Why Irrationality May Be Our Best Form of Job Security
  • How to Defeat a Demagogue – A Strategic Inquiry
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Rules for Thinking, Daniel Dennett; Does it Matter? Alan Watts
  • Benchley’s Law of Distinction, Forager-Farmer Edition
  • The DO Rule
  • Proof of Evolution You Can See
  • Is Ultrarunning on the Decline?
  • Let My People Go (and Drink Responsibly)!
  • The Least Interesting Years of My Life
  • The Mismeasure of Man; A Universe of Consciousness
  • On Donald Trump, Superforecasting, and Granularity
  • Stalingrad, The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
  • The Smart People Need to get Smarter
  • Go, AlphaGo, and the Game of Games
  • The Amateur Astronomer
  • Why Working at the Same Time as Everyone Else Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
  • The Red Queen and the New Political Order
  • Programming vs. Strategy
  • The End of the End of History?
  • Evolution: The Ultimate Game
  • On Weirdness
  • This is the New Political Order
  • Why It’s Ok to Dance Alone on a Hill in Tight Pants
  • How to Lead, How to Follow
  • Snapchat: The New Game
  • Games and Problems (How to Solve Any Problem)
  • The Battle for Non-Distraction
  • Zen Koans, Virality, and Self Promotion
  • Steve Jobs; Creativity: Flow and the Psychology and Discovery of Invention; Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
  • The Opposites Theory of Presidents (A Story of Recency Bias)
  • Insider Games vs. Outsider Games, Paul Krugman Edition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke, Part II
  • Winners and Losers & the Multicultural Ideal
  • Arguing with People Online is a Waste of Time
  • Is Blogging Now Irrelevant?
  • Creativity, Domains, Consensus, and Recognition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke
  • Disassortative Mating, Heart-Warming Edition
  • Humanity Trumps Ideology
  • The Golden Age of Games
  • Finite and Infinite Games
  • Benjamin Franklin, an American Life; Einstein, His Life and Universe; The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Riches to Rags Story
  • The Observable Universe, Log-Scale Image
  • Randomness, Beauty, and the Oboe
  • The American Civil War; Musicophilia; A Perfect Mess
  • Why the Nobel Prize is Overrated
  • The Sum of our Experiences
  • Underrated: Being a Threshold Earner
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Humane Idealist
  • Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art
  • 1493; The Revenge of Geography; The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Why I’m an Optimist Who Believes the End of the World is Nigh
  • Trey Spruance, Art for Its Own Sake
  • Kind Moments Caught on Russian Dashcams
  • Boy and Puppy
  • Why the Left-Right Distinction in Politics is Overrated
  • The Art of Learning; Collapse; Promoter Mind, Hustler Heart; The Last of the President’s Men
  • Embracing Imperfection
  • Find Your Voice, Do Your Special Work
  • Joyous and Swift
  • What is the Meaning of Life? (On the Importance of Asking Better Questions)
  • Poorly Worded Questions
  • Pascal’s Wager (A Different Calculus)
  • The Final Countdown
  • Ten Keys to a Meaningful Life
  • Wittgenstein’s Ruler (McCarthy’s Maxim)
  • Friday Shortcuts – Robots Reading Romance Novels

    Last week, I wrote about how I was excited for robots to read this blog. Turns out, they might be more into reading romance novels instead.

    Andrew Sullivan returned to writing this week, to pen an article about the demagogue who shall not be named. I agree with Sullivan that most people are far too sanguine about the recent turn of events. He is not like other politicians. Whether his possible election as president is, in fact, an “extinction-level event” for constitutional order is unclear. But I suspect if he gets elected it’ll be the worst development for American civil liberties in 150 years.

  • You Have No Idea How Lucky You Are
  • A Three-Step Process for Deciding Which News Stories To Give a Shit About
  • Toward Greater Parsimony of Narratives
  • Contra Bershidsky on Catalan Independence
  • In Defense of Holding Fewer Strong Opinions
  • Refusing to Let Others Dictate Your Agenda
  • Three Universal Laws on Suffering and Information Consumption
  • Anti-ism-ism
  • Rapoport’s Rebuttals – A Model for Better Online Civil Discourse
  • Why the President of the United States Is NOT the Most Powerful Man on Earth
  • In Defense of Broader Free Speech Norms
  • Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek as Enlightened Anarcho-Primitivism
  • Accept the World Exactly as It Is, and then Go Try to Make It Better
  • What’s the Matter with Saguache County, Colorado?
  • Discipline And Flexibility, Not Discipline Or Flexibility
  • This is Why Extreme Policies Become Normal
  • You Were Not Designed To Be Happy
  • Why Strategic Copying > Innovation
  • The Challenge of Consilience
  • The Random Life Experience Generator
  • The Society for Uncertainty and Intellectual Modesty
  • The Optimal Amount of Work for Any Person, Explained
  • In Defense of Human Experience over Digital Information
  • Be Wary of Collective Explanations, Too
  • Why It’s Best To Think of Explanations As Partial Fictions
  • Status Games
  • One Sentence to Explain Politics in 2017
  • Why Loose Enforcement of Laws Gives Law Enforcement More Power
  • Brain in a Social-Media Vat
  • The Joy of Irrelevance and Anonymity
  • The Rationality of Seemingly Irrational Political Beliefs
  • Goals vs. Streaks
  • The Hardest Questions
  • Me and My Pony
  • Habits and Holes
  • Right Here Problems
  • Life at Zero Speed
  • Ambivalence to Achievement
  • Metarules for Games
  • Today, I Will Make Myself a Cup of Tea
  • Refuse To Even Say His Name
  • Do Great Things . . . Or Do Nothing
  • Ozymandias and Our Quests for Immortality
  • What We Really Mean When We Talk About Minimalism
  • What 40-Degree Water Taught Me About Philosophy
  • You Are the Star of Your Own Movie (But Nobody Else’s)
  • What I Learned from My Mini-Retirement at Age 34 (Mostly, that Retirement is Overrated)
  • The Strategic Value of Not Planning
  • Republicanism, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Instability
  • The Hyperevolution of Hyperstimulus
  • Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want
  • Monday Funday – Radiohead
  • Friday Shortcuts – Robots Reading Romance Novels
  • Why Are There So Few High-Status Threshold Workers?
  • What I’m Reading – 5/4 – Team of Rivals
  • Epistemic Status
  • Monday Funday – Running Through Barcelona
  • Friday Shortcuts – 1:11 Half-Marathon with a Stroller
  • Light Reading for Our Robot Overlords
  • What I’m Reading – 4/27 – The Graveyard Book; The Longest Winter
  • Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed
  • Monday Funday – Killer Drone
  • Shortcuts 4/22/16
  • The Easiest Path To Professional Success
  • What I’m Reading – 4/20 – What I Think About When I Think About Running
  • Why It’s Good To Be a Square Peg
  • Monday Funday – Super Mario Bros. Speed Record
  • Friday Shortcuts 4/14 – I Think This Is a Joke
  • The Real Reason We Like To Travel
  • What I’m Reading – 4/13 – Seveneves; Asylum; SuperBetter
  • How To (And How Not To) Defeat a Demagogue
  • Monday Funday, 4/11/2016
  • Friday Shortcuts and The Process
  • How to Learn To Love Any New Habit
  • What I’m Reading – 4/6 – The Iraq War; Impro; Zen in the Art of Writing; The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • 100/100/100
  • The Best Thing I Read Last Week
  • Friday Shortcuts
  • Analyzing Life from an Archeologist’s Perspective
  • Quantity vs. Quality
  • What’s the Evolutionary Basis for Why We Like TV?
  • Tip of the AI Iceberg
  • The Theory of 5,000 Einsteins
  • All of Our Instincts Are Fighting Against Us
  • McCarthy’s Maxim in Visual Form
  • Why Irrationality May Be Our Best Form of Job Security
  • How to Defeat a Demagogue – A Strategic Inquiry
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Rules for Thinking, Daniel Dennett; Does it Matter? Alan Watts
  • Benchley’s Law of Distinction, Forager-Farmer Edition
  • The DO Rule
  • Proof of Evolution You Can See
  • Is Ultrarunning on the Decline?
  • Let My People Go (and Drink Responsibly)!
  • The Least Interesting Years of My Life
  • The Mismeasure of Man; A Universe of Consciousness
  • On Donald Trump, Superforecasting, and Granularity
  • Stalingrad, The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
  • The Smart People Need to get Smarter
  • Go, AlphaGo, and the Game of Games
  • The Amateur Astronomer
  • Why Working at the Same Time as Everyone Else Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
  • The Red Queen and the New Political Order
  • Programming vs. Strategy
  • The End of the End of History?
  • Evolution: The Ultimate Game
  • On Weirdness
  • This is the New Political Order
  • Why It’s Ok to Dance Alone on a Hill in Tight Pants
  • How to Lead, How to Follow
  • Snapchat: The New Game
  • Games and Problems (How to Solve Any Problem)
  • The Battle for Non-Distraction
  • Zen Koans, Virality, and Self Promotion
  • Steve Jobs; Creativity: Flow and the Psychology and Discovery of Invention; Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
  • The Opposites Theory of Presidents (A Story of Recency Bias)
  • Insider Games vs. Outsider Games, Paul Krugman Edition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke, Part II
  • Winners and Losers & the Multicultural Ideal
  • Arguing with People Online is a Waste of Time
  • Is Blogging Now Irrelevant?
  • Creativity, Domains, Consensus, and Recognition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke
  • Disassortative Mating, Heart-Warming Edition
  • Humanity Trumps Ideology
  • The Golden Age of Games
  • Finite and Infinite Games
  • Benjamin Franklin, an American Life; Einstein, His Life and Universe; The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Riches to Rags Story
  • The Observable Universe, Log-Scale Image
  • Randomness, Beauty, and the Oboe
  • The American Civil War; Musicophilia; A Perfect Mess
  • Why the Nobel Prize is Overrated
  • The Sum of our Experiences
  • Underrated: Being a Threshold Earner
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Humane Idealist
  • Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art
  • 1493; The Revenge of Geography; The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Why I’m an Optimist Who Believes the End of the World is Nigh
  • Trey Spruance, Art for Its Own Sake
  • Kind Moments Caught on Russian Dashcams
  • Boy and Puppy
  • Why the Left-Right Distinction in Politics is Overrated
  • The Art of Learning; Collapse; Promoter Mind, Hustler Heart; The Last of the President’s Men
  • Embracing Imperfection
  • Find Your Voice, Do Your Special Work
  • Joyous and Swift
  • What is the Meaning of Life? (On the Importance of Asking Better Questions)
  • Poorly Worded Questions
  • Pascal’s Wager (A Different Calculus)
  • The Final Countdown
  • Ten Keys to a Meaningful Life
  • Wittgenstein’s Ruler (McCarthy’s Maxim)
  • Epistemic Status

    One of my favorite bloggers, Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex, often begins his blog posts with a brief parenthetical about his “epistemic status.”

    It’s his way of declaring at the outset how confident he is what he’s about to say.

    In a recent post, for example, he wrote:

    [Epistemic status: very speculative, asserted with only ~30% confidence. On the other hand, even though psychiatrists don’t really talk about this it’s possible other groups know this all already]

    The caveat about epistemic status is an attempt to be forthright while anticipating obvious criticisms of what he’s about to write before anyone reads it. It is a meta-wonky way of sidestepping the easiest forms of criticism and moving on to the heart of the subject matter.

    It’s also a declaration of modesty and self-awareness. The least intelligent tend to be the most confident in their beliefs. And the most intelligent know that there’s much more that we don’t know than what we do.

    Scott Alexander is as smart as it gets. So, even though he’s smarter than 99.99% of the population, indeed, because he’s smarter than 99.99% of the population, he knows there’s always a chance he might be wrong. And thus whenever he states an opinion he starts with a frank estimate about how likely it is that he is wrong.

    And since I believe that the most efficient way to grow is to steal from people who are smarter than you are, I might adopt this practice as well. With due recognition that it is a lesson learned from someone much more intelligent than I am.

  • You Have No Idea How Lucky You Are
  • A Three-Step Process for Deciding Which News Stories To Give a Shit About
  • Toward Greater Parsimony of Narratives
  • Contra Bershidsky on Catalan Independence
  • In Defense of Holding Fewer Strong Opinions
  • Refusing to Let Others Dictate Your Agenda
  • Three Universal Laws on Suffering and Information Consumption
  • Anti-ism-ism
  • Rapoport’s Rebuttals – A Model for Better Online Civil Discourse
  • Why the President of the United States Is NOT the Most Powerful Man on Earth
  • In Defense of Broader Free Speech Norms
  • Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek as Enlightened Anarcho-Primitivism
  • Accept the World Exactly as It Is, and then Go Try to Make It Better
  • What’s the Matter with Saguache County, Colorado?
  • Discipline And Flexibility, Not Discipline Or Flexibility
  • This is Why Extreme Policies Become Normal
  • You Were Not Designed To Be Happy
  • Why Strategic Copying > Innovation
  • The Challenge of Consilience
  • The Random Life Experience Generator
  • The Society for Uncertainty and Intellectual Modesty
  • The Optimal Amount of Work for Any Person, Explained
  • In Defense of Human Experience over Digital Information
  • Be Wary of Collective Explanations, Too
  • Why It’s Best To Think of Explanations As Partial Fictions
  • Status Games
  • One Sentence to Explain Politics in 2017
  • Why Loose Enforcement of Laws Gives Law Enforcement More Power
  • Brain in a Social-Media Vat
  • The Joy of Irrelevance and Anonymity
  • The Rationality of Seemingly Irrational Political Beliefs
  • Goals vs. Streaks
  • The Hardest Questions
  • Me and My Pony
  • Habits and Holes
  • Right Here Problems
  • Life at Zero Speed
  • Ambivalence to Achievement
  • Metarules for Games
  • Today, I Will Make Myself a Cup of Tea
  • Refuse To Even Say His Name
  • Do Great Things . . . Or Do Nothing
  • Ozymandias and Our Quests for Immortality
  • What We Really Mean When We Talk About Minimalism
  • What 40-Degree Water Taught Me About Philosophy
  • You Are the Star of Your Own Movie (But Nobody Else’s)
  • What I Learned from My Mini-Retirement at Age 34 (Mostly, that Retirement is Overrated)
  • The Strategic Value of Not Planning
  • Republicanism, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Instability
  • The Hyperevolution of Hyperstimulus
  • Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want
  • Monday Funday – Radiohead
  • Friday Shortcuts – Robots Reading Romance Novels
  • Why Are There So Few High-Status Threshold Workers?
  • What I’m Reading – 5/4 – Team of Rivals
  • Epistemic Status
  • Monday Funday – Running Through Barcelona
  • Friday Shortcuts – 1:11 Half-Marathon with a Stroller
  • Light Reading for Our Robot Overlords
  • What I’m Reading – 4/27 – The Graveyard Book; The Longest Winter
  • Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed
  • Monday Funday – Killer Drone
  • Shortcuts 4/22/16
  • The Easiest Path To Professional Success
  • What I’m Reading – 4/20 – What I Think About When I Think About Running
  • Why It’s Good To Be a Square Peg
  • Monday Funday – Super Mario Bros. Speed Record
  • Friday Shortcuts 4/14 – I Think This Is a Joke
  • The Real Reason We Like To Travel
  • What I’m Reading – 4/13 – Seveneves; Asylum; SuperBetter
  • How To (And How Not To) Defeat a Demagogue
  • Monday Funday, 4/11/2016
  • Friday Shortcuts and The Process
  • How to Learn To Love Any New Habit
  • What I’m Reading – 4/6 – The Iraq War; Impro; Zen in the Art of Writing; The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • 100/100/100
  • The Best Thing I Read Last Week
  • Friday Shortcuts
  • Analyzing Life from an Archeologist’s Perspective
  • Quantity vs. Quality
  • What’s the Evolutionary Basis for Why We Like TV?
  • Tip of the AI Iceberg
  • The Theory of 5,000 Einsteins
  • All of Our Instincts Are Fighting Against Us
  • McCarthy’s Maxim in Visual Form
  • Why Irrationality May Be Our Best Form of Job Security
  • How to Defeat a Demagogue – A Strategic Inquiry
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Rules for Thinking, Daniel Dennett; Does it Matter? Alan Watts
  • Benchley’s Law of Distinction, Forager-Farmer Edition
  • The DO Rule
  • Proof of Evolution You Can See
  • Is Ultrarunning on the Decline?
  • Let My People Go (and Drink Responsibly)!
  • The Least Interesting Years of My Life
  • The Mismeasure of Man; A Universe of Consciousness
  • On Donald Trump, Superforecasting, and Granularity
  • Stalingrad, The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
  • The Smart People Need to get Smarter
  • Go, AlphaGo, and the Game of Games
  • The Amateur Astronomer
  • Why Working at the Same Time as Everyone Else Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
  • The Red Queen and the New Political Order
  • Programming vs. Strategy
  • The End of the End of History?
  • Evolution: The Ultimate Game
  • On Weirdness
  • This is the New Political Order
  • Why It’s Ok to Dance Alone on a Hill in Tight Pants
  • How to Lead, How to Follow
  • Snapchat: The New Game
  • Games and Problems (How to Solve Any Problem)
  • The Battle for Non-Distraction
  • Zen Koans, Virality, and Self Promotion
  • Steve Jobs; Creativity: Flow and the Psychology and Discovery of Invention; Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
  • The Opposites Theory of Presidents (A Story of Recency Bias)
  • Insider Games vs. Outsider Games, Paul Krugman Edition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke, Part II
  • Winners and Losers & the Multicultural Ideal
  • Arguing with People Online is a Waste of Time
  • Is Blogging Now Irrelevant?
  • Creativity, Domains, Consensus, and Recognition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke
  • Disassortative Mating, Heart-Warming Edition
  • Humanity Trumps Ideology
  • The Golden Age of Games
  • Finite and Infinite Games
  • Benjamin Franklin, an American Life; Einstein, His Life and Universe; The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Riches to Rags Story
  • The Observable Universe, Log-Scale Image
  • Randomness, Beauty, and the Oboe
  • The American Civil War; Musicophilia; A Perfect Mess
  • Why the Nobel Prize is Overrated
  • The Sum of our Experiences
  • Underrated: Being a Threshold Earner
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Humane Idealist
  • Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art
  • 1493; The Revenge of Geography; The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Why I’m an Optimist Who Believes the End of the World is Nigh
  • Trey Spruance, Art for Its Own Sake
  • Kind Moments Caught on Russian Dashcams
  • Boy and Puppy
  • Why the Left-Right Distinction in Politics is Overrated
  • The Art of Learning; Collapse; Promoter Mind, Hustler Heart; The Last of the President’s Men
  • Embracing Imperfection
  • Find Your Voice, Do Your Special Work
  • Joyous and Swift
  • What is the Meaning of Life? (On the Importance of Asking Better Questions)
  • Poorly Worded Questions
  • Pascal’s Wager (A Different Calculus)
  • The Final Countdown
  • Ten Keys to a Meaningful Life
  • Wittgenstein’s Ruler (McCarthy’s Maxim)
  • Friday Shortcuts – 1:11 Half-Marathon with a Stroller

    Man runs a 1:11 half-marathon in a stroller. In addition to being the fastest person to ever push a three-year old for a half marathon, he’s a pretty good ultrarunner to boot.

    Johannes Haushofer’s CV of failures. More popular than any of this successes.

    Just discovered this blog on econ trends and investing. Will be checking in before making investment decisions going forward.

    This is not my problem.

    Alex Tabarrok suggests that part of the reason we have such tensions in this country between police and the public is because we spend more resources on prisons than police.

    Nearly one in five Americans is subject to a non-compete agreement. At least in Colorado and California, these are presumptively non-enforceable, but this still presents a powerful issue in workplace mobility.

    The district where I went to high school is spending $12,000 to arm its security guards with semi-automatic weapons. I remember we jokingly called one of our security guards RoboCop in high school. Not so funny any more.

  • You Have No Idea How Lucky You Are
  • A Three-Step Process for Deciding Which News Stories To Give a Shit About
  • Toward Greater Parsimony of Narratives
  • Contra Bershidsky on Catalan Independence
  • In Defense of Holding Fewer Strong Opinions
  • Refusing to Let Others Dictate Your Agenda
  • Three Universal Laws on Suffering and Information Consumption
  • Anti-ism-ism
  • Rapoport’s Rebuttals – A Model for Better Online Civil Discourse
  • Why the President of the United States Is NOT the Most Powerful Man on Earth
  • In Defense of Broader Free Speech Norms
  • Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek as Enlightened Anarcho-Primitivism
  • Accept the World Exactly as It Is, and then Go Try to Make It Better
  • What’s the Matter with Saguache County, Colorado?
  • Discipline And Flexibility, Not Discipline Or Flexibility
  • This is Why Extreme Policies Become Normal
  • You Were Not Designed To Be Happy
  • Why Strategic Copying > Innovation
  • The Challenge of Consilience
  • The Random Life Experience Generator
  • The Society for Uncertainty and Intellectual Modesty
  • The Optimal Amount of Work for Any Person, Explained
  • In Defense of Human Experience over Digital Information
  • Be Wary of Collective Explanations, Too
  • Why It’s Best To Think of Explanations As Partial Fictions
  • Status Games
  • One Sentence to Explain Politics in 2017
  • Why Loose Enforcement of Laws Gives Law Enforcement More Power
  • Brain in a Social-Media Vat
  • The Joy of Irrelevance and Anonymity
  • The Rationality of Seemingly Irrational Political Beliefs
  • Goals vs. Streaks
  • The Hardest Questions
  • Me and My Pony
  • Habits and Holes
  • Right Here Problems
  • Life at Zero Speed
  • Ambivalence to Achievement
  • Metarules for Games
  • Today, I Will Make Myself a Cup of Tea
  • Refuse To Even Say His Name
  • Do Great Things . . . Or Do Nothing
  • Ozymandias and Our Quests for Immortality
  • What We Really Mean When We Talk About Minimalism
  • What 40-Degree Water Taught Me About Philosophy
  • You Are the Star of Your Own Movie (But Nobody Else’s)
  • What I Learned from My Mini-Retirement at Age 34 (Mostly, that Retirement is Overrated)
  • The Strategic Value of Not Planning
  • Republicanism, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Instability
  • The Hyperevolution of Hyperstimulus
  • Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want
  • Monday Funday – Radiohead
  • Friday Shortcuts – Robots Reading Romance Novels
  • Why Are There So Few High-Status Threshold Workers?
  • What I’m Reading – 5/4 – Team of Rivals
  • Epistemic Status
  • Monday Funday – Running Through Barcelona
  • Friday Shortcuts – 1:11 Half-Marathon with a Stroller
  • Light Reading for Our Robot Overlords
  • What I’m Reading – 4/27 – The Graveyard Book; The Longest Winter
  • Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed
  • Monday Funday – Killer Drone
  • Shortcuts 4/22/16
  • The Easiest Path To Professional Success
  • What I’m Reading – 4/20 – What I Think About When I Think About Running
  • Why It’s Good To Be a Square Peg
  • Monday Funday – Super Mario Bros. Speed Record
  • Friday Shortcuts 4/14 – I Think This Is a Joke
  • The Real Reason We Like To Travel
  • What I’m Reading – 4/13 – Seveneves; Asylum; SuperBetter
  • How To (And How Not To) Defeat a Demagogue
  • Monday Funday, 4/11/2016
  • Friday Shortcuts and The Process
  • How to Learn To Love Any New Habit
  • What I’m Reading – 4/6 – The Iraq War; Impro; Zen in the Art of Writing; The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • 100/100/100
  • The Best Thing I Read Last Week
  • Friday Shortcuts
  • Analyzing Life from an Archeologist’s Perspective
  • Quantity vs. Quality
  • What’s the Evolutionary Basis for Why We Like TV?
  • Tip of the AI Iceberg
  • The Theory of 5,000 Einsteins
  • All of Our Instincts Are Fighting Against Us
  • McCarthy’s Maxim in Visual Form
  • Why Irrationality May Be Our Best Form of Job Security
  • How to Defeat a Demagogue – A Strategic Inquiry
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Rules for Thinking, Daniel Dennett; Does it Matter? Alan Watts
  • Benchley’s Law of Distinction, Forager-Farmer Edition
  • The DO Rule
  • Proof of Evolution You Can See
  • Is Ultrarunning on the Decline?
  • Let My People Go (and Drink Responsibly)!
  • The Least Interesting Years of My Life
  • The Mismeasure of Man; A Universe of Consciousness
  • On Donald Trump, Superforecasting, and Granularity
  • Stalingrad, The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
  • The Smart People Need to get Smarter
  • Go, AlphaGo, and the Game of Games
  • The Amateur Astronomer
  • Why Working at the Same Time as Everyone Else Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
  • The Red Queen and the New Political Order
  • Programming vs. Strategy
  • The End of the End of History?
  • Evolution: The Ultimate Game
  • On Weirdness
  • This is the New Political Order
  • Why It’s Ok to Dance Alone on a Hill in Tight Pants
  • How to Lead, How to Follow
  • Snapchat: The New Game
  • Games and Problems (How to Solve Any Problem)
  • The Battle for Non-Distraction
  • Zen Koans, Virality, and Self Promotion
  • Steve Jobs; Creativity: Flow and the Psychology and Discovery of Invention; Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
  • The Opposites Theory of Presidents (A Story of Recency Bias)
  • Insider Games vs. Outsider Games, Paul Krugman Edition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke, Part II
  • Winners and Losers & the Multicultural Ideal
  • Arguing with People Online is a Waste of Time
  • Is Blogging Now Irrelevant?
  • Creativity, Domains, Consensus, and Recognition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke
  • Disassortative Mating, Heart-Warming Edition
  • Humanity Trumps Ideology
  • The Golden Age of Games
  • Finite and Infinite Games
  • Benjamin Franklin, an American Life; Einstein, His Life and Universe; The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Riches to Rags Story
  • The Observable Universe, Log-Scale Image
  • Randomness, Beauty, and the Oboe
  • The American Civil War; Musicophilia; A Perfect Mess
  • Why the Nobel Prize is Overrated
  • The Sum of our Experiences
  • Underrated: Being a Threshold Earner
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Humane Idealist
  • Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art
  • 1493; The Revenge of Geography; The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Why I’m an Optimist Who Believes the End of the World is Nigh
  • Trey Spruance, Art for Its Own Sake
  • Kind Moments Caught on Russian Dashcams
  • Boy and Puppy
  • Why the Left-Right Distinction in Politics is Overrated
  • The Art of Learning; Collapse; Promoter Mind, Hustler Heart; The Last of the President’s Men
  • Embracing Imperfection
  • Find Your Voice, Do Your Special Work
  • Joyous and Swift
  • What is the Meaning of Life? (On the Importance of Asking Better Questions)
  • Poorly Worded Questions
  • Pascal’s Wager (A Different Calculus)
  • The Final Countdown
  • Ten Keys to a Meaningful Life
  • Wittgenstein’s Ruler (McCarthy’s Maxim)
  • Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed

    “Every day I wake up unemployed.”

    That’s the way a friend of mine from law school recently described the experience of having his own law practice.

    As someone who also has his own law practice, I thought it was a great way to describe the feeling.

    That’s exactly how it feels to be an entrepreneur.

    But that might be what I love most about it.

    On an instinctive level, we all want to feel that we’re living on solid ground. We want money in the bank to make us feel safe. That we know what friends we have and what we’re going to do every day and what shows we’re going to watch on TV every night. But it’s all an illusion. That security, that stability isn’t living.

    Life is at its most exultant and most profound when we’re doing the opposite. When we find ourselves in uncharted territory, and we have no idea what to expect. We live more, we feel more, in those first few months of being a parent or working in a new job or branching out to a new social circle.

    In those moments when we’re thinking to ourselves, “I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing right now, and I have no idea what’s going to happen next.” That’s when we’re most alive.

    A Buddhist might describe it as “becoming comfortable with groundlessness.”

    It’s counterintuitive. And it requires us to fight our instincts. But to put ourselves in places where we feel this way, it is simply a way of affirming our desire to live an active life.

    I hope to wake up unemployed every day for the rest of my life.

  • You Have No Idea How Lucky You Are
  • A Three-Step Process for Deciding Which News Stories To Give a Shit About
  • Toward Greater Parsimony of Narratives
  • Contra Bershidsky on Catalan Independence
  • In Defense of Holding Fewer Strong Opinions
  • Refusing to Let Others Dictate Your Agenda
  • Three Universal Laws on Suffering and Information Consumption
  • Anti-ism-ism
  • Rapoport’s Rebuttals – A Model for Better Online Civil Discourse
  • Why the President of the United States Is NOT the Most Powerful Man on Earth
  • In Defense of Broader Free Speech Norms
  • Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek as Enlightened Anarcho-Primitivism
  • Accept the World Exactly as It Is, and then Go Try to Make It Better
  • What’s the Matter with Saguache County, Colorado?
  • Discipline And Flexibility, Not Discipline Or Flexibility
  • This is Why Extreme Policies Become Normal
  • You Were Not Designed To Be Happy
  • Why Strategic Copying > Innovation
  • The Challenge of Consilience
  • The Random Life Experience Generator
  • The Society for Uncertainty and Intellectual Modesty
  • The Optimal Amount of Work for Any Person, Explained
  • In Defense of Human Experience over Digital Information
  • Be Wary of Collective Explanations, Too
  • Why It’s Best To Think of Explanations As Partial Fictions
  • Status Games
  • One Sentence to Explain Politics in 2017
  • Why Loose Enforcement of Laws Gives Law Enforcement More Power
  • Brain in a Social-Media Vat
  • The Joy of Irrelevance and Anonymity
  • The Rationality of Seemingly Irrational Political Beliefs
  • Goals vs. Streaks
  • The Hardest Questions
  • Me and My Pony
  • Habits and Holes
  • Right Here Problems
  • Life at Zero Speed
  • Ambivalence to Achievement
  • Metarules for Games
  • Today, I Will Make Myself a Cup of Tea
  • Refuse To Even Say His Name
  • Do Great Things . . . Or Do Nothing
  • Ozymandias and Our Quests for Immortality
  • What We Really Mean When We Talk About Minimalism
  • What 40-Degree Water Taught Me About Philosophy
  • You Are the Star of Your Own Movie (But Nobody Else’s)
  • What I Learned from My Mini-Retirement at Age 34 (Mostly, that Retirement is Overrated)
  • The Strategic Value of Not Planning
  • Republicanism, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Instability
  • The Hyperevolution of Hyperstimulus
  • Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want
  • Monday Funday – Radiohead
  • Friday Shortcuts – Robots Reading Romance Novels
  • Why Are There So Few High-Status Threshold Workers?
  • What I’m Reading – 5/4 – Team of Rivals
  • Epistemic Status
  • Monday Funday – Running Through Barcelona
  • Friday Shortcuts – 1:11 Half-Marathon with a Stroller
  • Light Reading for Our Robot Overlords
  • What I’m Reading – 4/27 – The Graveyard Book; The Longest Winter
  • Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed
  • Monday Funday – Killer Drone
  • Shortcuts 4/22/16
  • The Easiest Path To Professional Success
  • What I’m Reading – 4/20 – What I Think About When I Think About Running
  • Why It’s Good To Be a Square Peg
  • Monday Funday – Super Mario Bros. Speed Record
  • Friday Shortcuts 4/14 – I Think This Is a Joke
  • The Real Reason We Like To Travel
  • What I’m Reading – 4/13 – Seveneves; Asylum; SuperBetter
  • How To (And How Not To) Defeat a Demagogue
  • Monday Funday, 4/11/2016
  • Friday Shortcuts and The Process
  • How to Learn To Love Any New Habit
  • What I’m Reading – 4/6 – The Iraq War; Impro; Zen in the Art of Writing; The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • 100/100/100
  • The Best Thing I Read Last Week
  • Friday Shortcuts
  • Analyzing Life from an Archeologist’s Perspective
  • Quantity vs. Quality
  • What’s the Evolutionary Basis for Why We Like TV?
  • Tip of the AI Iceberg
  • The Theory of 5,000 Einsteins
  • All of Our Instincts Are Fighting Against Us
  • McCarthy’s Maxim in Visual Form
  • Why Irrationality May Be Our Best Form of Job Security
  • How to Defeat a Demagogue – A Strategic Inquiry
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Rules for Thinking, Daniel Dennett; Does it Matter? Alan Watts
  • Benchley’s Law of Distinction, Forager-Farmer Edition
  • The DO Rule
  • Proof of Evolution You Can See
  • Is Ultrarunning on the Decline?
  • Let My People Go (and Drink Responsibly)!
  • The Least Interesting Years of My Life
  • The Mismeasure of Man; A Universe of Consciousness
  • On Donald Trump, Superforecasting, and Granularity
  • Stalingrad, The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
  • The Smart People Need to get Smarter
  • Go, AlphaGo, and the Game of Games
  • The Amateur Astronomer
  • Why Working at the Same Time as Everyone Else Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
  • The Red Queen and the New Political Order
  • Programming vs. Strategy
  • The End of the End of History?
  • Evolution: The Ultimate Game
  • On Weirdness
  • This is the New Political Order
  • Why It’s Ok to Dance Alone on a Hill in Tight Pants
  • How to Lead, How to Follow
  • Snapchat: The New Game
  • Games and Problems (How to Solve Any Problem)
  • The Battle for Non-Distraction
  • Zen Koans, Virality, and Self Promotion
  • Steve Jobs; Creativity: Flow and the Psychology and Discovery of Invention; Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
  • The Opposites Theory of Presidents (A Story of Recency Bias)
  • Insider Games vs. Outsider Games, Paul Krugman Edition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke, Part II
  • Winners and Losers & the Multicultural Ideal
  • Arguing with People Online is a Waste of Time
  • Is Blogging Now Irrelevant?
  • Creativity, Domains, Consensus, and Recognition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke
  • Disassortative Mating, Heart-Warming Edition
  • Humanity Trumps Ideology
  • The Golden Age of Games
  • Finite and Infinite Games
  • Benjamin Franklin, an American Life; Einstein, His Life and Universe; The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Riches to Rags Story
  • The Observable Universe, Log-Scale Image
  • Randomness, Beauty, and the Oboe
  • The American Civil War; Musicophilia; A Perfect Mess
  • Why the Nobel Prize is Overrated
  • The Sum of our Experiences
  • Underrated: Being a Threshold Earner
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Humane Idealist
  • Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art
  • 1493; The Revenge of Geography; The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Why I’m an Optimist Who Believes the End of the World is Nigh
  • Trey Spruance, Art for Its Own Sake
  • Kind Moments Caught on Russian Dashcams
  • Boy and Puppy
  • Why the Left-Right Distinction in Politics is Overrated
  • The Art of Learning; Collapse; Promoter Mind, Hustler Heart; The Last of the President’s Men
  • Embracing Imperfection
  • Find Your Voice, Do Your Special Work
  • Joyous and Swift
  • What is the Meaning of Life? (On the Importance of Asking Better Questions)
  • Poorly Worded Questions
  • Pascal’s Wager (A Different Calculus)
  • The Final Countdown
  • Ten Keys to a Meaningful Life
  • Wittgenstein’s Ruler (McCarthy’s Maxim)
  • Monday Funday – Killer Drone

    This is perhaps more swift than joyous, but it is pretty badass nonetheless.

  • You Have No Idea How Lucky You Are
  • A Three-Step Process for Deciding Which News Stories To Give a Shit About
  • Toward Greater Parsimony of Narratives
  • Contra Bershidsky on Catalan Independence
  • In Defense of Holding Fewer Strong Opinions
  • Refusing to Let Others Dictate Your Agenda
  • Three Universal Laws on Suffering and Information Consumption
  • Anti-ism-ism
  • Rapoport’s Rebuttals – A Model for Better Online Civil Discourse
  • Why the President of the United States Is NOT the Most Powerful Man on Earth
  • In Defense of Broader Free Speech Norms
  • Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek as Enlightened Anarcho-Primitivism
  • Accept the World Exactly as It Is, and then Go Try to Make It Better
  • What’s the Matter with Saguache County, Colorado?
  • Discipline And Flexibility, Not Discipline Or Flexibility
  • This is Why Extreme Policies Become Normal
  • You Were Not Designed To Be Happy
  • Why Strategic Copying > Innovation
  • The Challenge of Consilience
  • The Random Life Experience Generator
  • The Society for Uncertainty and Intellectual Modesty
  • The Optimal Amount of Work for Any Person, Explained
  • In Defense of Human Experience over Digital Information
  • Be Wary of Collective Explanations, Too
  • Why It’s Best To Think of Explanations As Partial Fictions
  • Status Games
  • One Sentence to Explain Politics in 2017
  • Why Loose Enforcement of Laws Gives Law Enforcement More Power
  • Brain in a Social-Media Vat
  • The Joy of Irrelevance and Anonymity
  • The Rationality of Seemingly Irrational Political Beliefs
  • Goals vs. Streaks
  • The Hardest Questions
  • Me and My Pony
  • Habits and Holes
  • Right Here Problems
  • Life at Zero Speed
  • Ambivalence to Achievement
  • Metarules for Games
  • Today, I Will Make Myself a Cup of Tea
  • Refuse To Even Say His Name
  • Do Great Things . . . Or Do Nothing
  • Ozymandias and Our Quests for Immortality
  • What We Really Mean When We Talk About Minimalism
  • What 40-Degree Water Taught Me About Philosophy
  • You Are the Star of Your Own Movie (But Nobody Else’s)
  • What I Learned from My Mini-Retirement at Age 34 (Mostly, that Retirement is Overrated)
  • The Strategic Value of Not Planning
  • Republicanism, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Instability
  • The Hyperevolution of Hyperstimulus
  • Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want
  • Monday Funday – Radiohead
  • Friday Shortcuts – Robots Reading Romance Novels
  • Why Are There So Few High-Status Threshold Workers?
  • What I’m Reading – 5/4 – Team of Rivals
  • Epistemic Status
  • Monday Funday – Running Through Barcelona
  • Friday Shortcuts – 1:11 Half-Marathon with a Stroller
  • Light Reading for Our Robot Overlords
  • What I’m Reading – 4/27 – The Graveyard Book; The Longest Winter
  • Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed
  • Monday Funday – Killer Drone
  • Shortcuts 4/22/16
  • The Easiest Path To Professional Success
  • What I’m Reading – 4/20 – What I Think About When I Think About Running
  • Why It’s Good To Be a Square Peg
  • Monday Funday – Super Mario Bros. Speed Record
  • Friday Shortcuts 4/14 – I Think This Is a Joke
  • The Real Reason We Like To Travel
  • What I’m Reading – 4/13 – Seveneves; Asylum; SuperBetter
  • How To (And How Not To) Defeat a Demagogue
  • Monday Funday, 4/11/2016
  • Friday Shortcuts and The Process
  • How to Learn To Love Any New Habit
  • What I’m Reading – 4/6 – The Iraq War; Impro; Zen in the Art of Writing; The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • 100/100/100
  • The Best Thing I Read Last Week
  • Friday Shortcuts
  • Analyzing Life from an Archeologist’s Perspective
  • Quantity vs. Quality
  • What’s the Evolutionary Basis for Why We Like TV?
  • Tip of the AI Iceberg
  • The Theory of 5,000 Einsteins
  • All of Our Instincts Are Fighting Against Us
  • McCarthy’s Maxim in Visual Form
  • Why Irrationality May Be Our Best Form of Job Security
  • How to Defeat a Demagogue – A Strategic Inquiry
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Rules for Thinking, Daniel Dennett; Does it Matter? Alan Watts
  • Benchley’s Law of Distinction, Forager-Farmer Edition
  • The DO Rule
  • Proof of Evolution You Can See
  • Is Ultrarunning on the Decline?
  • Let My People Go (and Drink Responsibly)!
  • The Least Interesting Years of My Life
  • The Mismeasure of Man; A Universe of Consciousness
  • On Donald Trump, Superforecasting, and Granularity
  • Stalingrad, The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
  • The Smart People Need to get Smarter
  • Go, AlphaGo, and the Game of Games
  • The Amateur Astronomer
  • Why Working at the Same Time as Everyone Else Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
  • The Red Queen and the New Political Order
  • Programming vs. Strategy
  • The End of the End of History?
  • Evolution: The Ultimate Game
  • On Weirdness
  • This is the New Political Order
  • Why It’s Ok to Dance Alone on a Hill in Tight Pants
  • How to Lead, How to Follow
  • Snapchat: The New Game
  • Games and Problems (How to Solve Any Problem)
  • The Battle for Non-Distraction
  • Zen Koans, Virality, and Self Promotion
  • Steve Jobs; Creativity: Flow and the Psychology and Discovery of Invention; Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
  • The Opposites Theory of Presidents (A Story of Recency Bias)
  • Insider Games vs. Outsider Games, Paul Krugman Edition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke, Part II
  • Winners and Losers & the Multicultural Ideal
  • Arguing with People Online is a Waste of Time
  • Is Blogging Now Irrelevant?
  • Creativity, Domains, Consensus, and Recognition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke
  • Disassortative Mating, Heart-Warming Edition
  • Humanity Trumps Ideology
  • The Golden Age of Games
  • Finite and Infinite Games
  • Benjamin Franklin, an American Life; Einstein, His Life and Universe; The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Riches to Rags Story
  • The Observable Universe, Log-Scale Image
  • Randomness, Beauty, and the Oboe
  • The American Civil War; Musicophilia; A Perfect Mess
  • Why the Nobel Prize is Overrated
  • The Sum of our Experiences
  • Underrated: Being a Threshold Earner
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Humane Idealist
  • Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art
  • 1493; The Revenge of Geography; The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Why I’m an Optimist Who Believes the End of the World is Nigh
  • Trey Spruance, Art for Its Own Sake
  • Kind Moments Caught on Russian Dashcams
  • Boy and Puppy
  • Why the Left-Right Distinction in Politics is Overrated
  • The Art of Learning; Collapse; Promoter Mind, Hustler Heart; The Last of the President’s Men
  • Embracing Imperfection
  • Find Your Voice, Do Your Special Work
  • Joyous and Swift
  • What is the Meaning of Life? (On the Importance of Asking Better Questions)
  • Poorly Worded Questions
  • Pascal’s Wager (A Different Calculus)
  • The Final Countdown
  • Ten Keys to a Meaningful Life
  • Wittgenstein’s Ruler (McCarthy’s Maxim)
  • Shortcuts 4/22/16

    Back in Time. The Atlantic looks back at 1986, in photos. I was most struck by the images of Nicaragua, where my wife and I spent our honeymoon last year.

    The Color of Money. We’re going to have a new image on our $20 bill. Adding someone’s image to a form of money is a curious form of hagiography. We have to make someone our hero – Harriet Tubman seems a good a choice as any. It’s worth noting that all of the other men who appear on our money (with the possible exception of Lincoln) would have considered Tubman a criminal. That we should choose to celebrate her – an underdog and an underrepresented minority, shows a radical shift in the way we choose to view our past. We remove a slaveholder from the $20 bill, and replace him with someone who was born a slave. Poignant in a sense, but if anything it just makes the contradictions in whom we celebrate more apparent. After all, we still have at least four slaveholders representing us on our currency.

    Climate Change Data that Predicts Global Conflicts. Or, stated another way, if you assess where famine and drought are going down, you can predict with reasonable certainty where war is going to happen in the near future.

    A Young Piano-Playing Virtuoso.  

    Born without hands.

  • You Have No Idea How Lucky You Are
  • A Three-Step Process for Deciding Which News Stories To Give a Shit About
  • Toward Greater Parsimony of Narratives
  • Contra Bershidsky on Catalan Independence
  • In Defense of Holding Fewer Strong Opinions
  • Refusing to Let Others Dictate Your Agenda
  • Three Universal Laws on Suffering and Information Consumption
  • Anti-ism-ism
  • Rapoport’s Rebuttals – A Model for Better Online Civil Discourse
  • Why the President of the United States Is NOT the Most Powerful Man on Earth
  • In Defense of Broader Free Speech Norms
  • Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek as Enlightened Anarcho-Primitivism
  • Accept the World Exactly as It Is, and then Go Try to Make It Better
  • What’s the Matter with Saguache County, Colorado?
  • Discipline And Flexibility, Not Discipline Or Flexibility
  • This is Why Extreme Policies Become Normal
  • You Were Not Designed To Be Happy
  • Why Strategic Copying > Innovation
  • The Challenge of Consilience
  • The Random Life Experience Generator
  • The Society for Uncertainty and Intellectual Modesty
  • The Optimal Amount of Work for Any Person, Explained
  • In Defense of Human Experience over Digital Information
  • Be Wary of Collective Explanations, Too
  • Why It’s Best To Think of Explanations As Partial Fictions
  • Status Games
  • One Sentence to Explain Politics in 2017
  • Why Loose Enforcement of Laws Gives Law Enforcement More Power
  • Brain in a Social-Media Vat
  • The Joy of Irrelevance and Anonymity
  • The Rationality of Seemingly Irrational Political Beliefs
  • Goals vs. Streaks
  • The Hardest Questions
  • Me and My Pony
  • Habits and Holes
  • Right Here Problems
  • Life at Zero Speed
  • Ambivalence to Achievement
  • Metarules for Games
  • Today, I Will Make Myself a Cup of Tea
  • Refuse To Even Say His Name
  • Do Great Things . . . Or Do Nothing
  • Ozymandias and Our Quests for Immortality
  • What We Really Mean When We Talk About Minimalism
  • What 40-Degree Water Taught Me About Philosophy
  • You Are the Star of Your Own Movie (But Nobody Else’s)
  • What I Learned from My Mini-Retirement at Age 34 (Mostly, that Retirement is Overrated)
  • The Strategic Value of Not Planning
  • Republicanism, Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Instability
  • The Hyperevolution of Hyperstimulus
  • Whatever I Want, Whenever I Want
  • Monday Funday – Radiohead
  • Friday Shortcuts – Robots Reading Romance Novels
  • Why Are There So Few High-Status Threshold Workers?
  • What I’m Reading – 5/4 – Team of Rivals
  • Epistemic Status
  • Monday Funday – Running Through Barcelona
  • Friday Shortcuts – 1:11 Half-Marathon with a Stroller
  • Light Reading for Our Robot Overlords
  • What I’m Reading – 4/27 – The Graveyard Book; The Longest Winter
  • Every Day I Wake Up Unemployed
  • Monday Funday – Killer Drone
  • Shortcuts 4/22/16
  • The Easiest Path To Professional Success
  • What I’m Reading – 4/20 – What I Think About When I Think About Running
  • Why It’s Good To Be a Square Peg
  • Monday Funday – Super Mario Bros. Speed Record
  • Friday Shortcuts 4/14 – I Think This Is a Joke
  • The Real Reason We Like To Travel
  • What I’m Reading – 4/13 – Seveneves; Asylum; SuperBetter
  • How To (And How Not To) Defeat a Demagogue
  • Monday Funday, 4/11/2016
  • Friday Shortcuts and The Process
  • How to Learn To Love Any New Habit
  • What I’m Reading – 4/6 – The Iraq War; Impro; Zen in the Art of Writing; The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • 100/100/100
  • The Best Thing I Read Last Week
  • Friday Shortcuts
  • Analyzing Life from an Archeologist’s Perspective
  • Quantity vs. Quality
  • What’s the Evolutionary Basis for Why We Like TV?
  • Tip of the AI Iceberg
  • The Theory of 5,000 Einsteins
  • All of Our Instincts Are Fighting Against Us
  • McCarthy’s Maxim in Visual Form
  • Why Irrationality May Be Our Best Form of Job Security
  • How to Defeat a Demagogue – A Strategic Inquiry
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Rules for Thinking, Daniel Dennett; Does it Matter? Alan Watts
  • Benchley’s Law of Distinction, Forager-Farmer Edition
  • The DO Rule
  • Proof of Evolution You Can See
  • Is Ultrarunning on the Decline?
  • Let My People Go (and Drink Responsibly)!
  • The Least Interesting Years of My Life
  • The Mismeasure of Man; A Universe of Consciousness
  • On Donald Trump, Superforecasting, and Granularity
  • Stalingrad, The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943
  • The Smart People Need to get Smarter
  • Go, AlphaGo, and the Game of Games
  • The Amateur Astronomer
  • Why Working at the Same Time as Everyone Else Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
  • The Red Queen and the New Political Order
  • Programming vs. Strategy
  • The End of the End of History?
  • Evolution: The Ultimate Game
  • On Weirdness
  • This is the New Political Order
  • Why It’s Ok to Dance Alone on a Hill in Tight Pants
  • How to Lead, How to Follow
  • Snapchat: The New Game
  • Games and Problems (How to Solve Any Problem)
  • The Battle for Non-Distraction
  • Zen Koans, Virality, and Self Promotion
  • Steve Jobs; Creativity: Flow and the Psychology and Discovery of Invention; Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
  • The Opposites Theory of Presidents (A Story of Recency Bias)
  • Insider Games vs. Outsider Games, Paul Krugman Edition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke, Part II
  • Winners and Losers & the Multicultural Ideal
  • Arguing with People Online is a Waste of Time
  • Is Blogging Now Irrelevant?
  • Creativity, Domains, Consensus, and Recognition
  • Do What You Want; Never Retire; Die Broke
  • Disassortative Mating, Heart-Warming Edition
  • Humanity Trumps Ideology
  • The Golden Age of Games
  • Finite and Infinite Games
  • Benjamin Franklin, an American Life; Einstein, His Life and Universe; The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Riches to Rags Story
  • The Observable Universe, Log-Scale Image
  • Randomness, Beauty, and the Oboe
  • The American Civil War; Musicophilia; A Perfect Mess
  • Why the Nobel Prize is Overrated
  • The Sum of our Experiences
  • Underrated: Being a Threshold Earner
  • Kurt Vonnegut: Humane Idealist
  • Neil Gaiman: Make Good Art
  • 1493; The Revenge of Geography; The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
  • Why I’m an Optimist Who Believes the End of the World is Nigh
  • Trey Spruance, Art for Its Own Sake
  • Kind Moments Caught on Russian Dashcams
  • Boy and Puppy
  • Why the Left-Right Distinction in Politics is Overrated
  • The Art of Learning; Collapse; Promoter Mind, Hustler Heart; The Last of the President’s Men
  • Embracing Imperfection
  • Find Your Voice, Do Your Special Work
  • Joyous and Swift
  • What is the Meaning of Life? (On the Importance of Asking Better Questions)
  • Poorly Worded Questions
  • Pascal’s Wager (A Different Calculus)
  • The Final Countdown
  • Ten Keys to a Meaningful Life
  • Wittgenstein’s Ruler (McCarthy’s Maxim)